ABCON asks CBN to create intervention window for BDCs

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a special intervention window for its members in the interbank market.

The body made the call at a CBN and ABCON interactive session on the flexible exchange rate policy on Wednesday in Lagos.

Its President, Aminu Gwadabe, said the call was because the body expected that there would be some provisions for its members in the new regime.

Gwadabe said that the CBN had emphasised the exclusion of the BDCs from transactions with banks, which suggested that operators were not playing any useful role in the foreign exchange market.

He appealed to the CBN to restore and enforce the self-regulatory status of ABCON, by making its membership criteria for licensing and renewal.

Gwadabe also urged the bank to develop a framework for regular training for BDCs.

According to him, the association is concerned that if the policy is not properly implemented, it may lead to huge forex related losses by manufacturers.

He said it might also lead to further rise in inflation, decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate, and widen the gap between the interbank and parallel black market forex rate, among others.

Deputy Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN Mr Anthony Ikem,, said the operators’ proposal to participate at the interbank market was still under consideration.

Ikem said the management of the bank was working on how the BDCs could be accommodated and carried along in the new forex regime.

He urged the bureau de change operators to exercise patience, saying the CBN was aware of the challenges confronting the sub-sector.

“The CBN is asking the BDCs to exercise patience. The new policy is still being tested to see how it would be later,” he said.

Ikem said that the policy was still under the watch of the apex bank.

“Even as the policy is being tested, the CBN still understands the role of the BDCs in the country. They are still relevant in the scheme of the affairs of the country,” he said.

The deputy director noted that there was need for the BDCs to cooperate and partner with the CBN to see how they would be accommodated in the new policy.

Mr Ogbizi Micheal, Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, advised the body to have a central data base for its members in order to track their activities.

Micheal urged the ABCON to ensure confirmation of any transaction its members carried out demanding for the clients’ Know Your Customers (KYCs).

He added that such effort would ensure that money involved in any transaction was not got through illegal means.

According to him, doing so will boost the confidence stakeholders and the public have on the BDCs.

Micheal urged them to always keep tab with the law enforcement agencies on any improper development in the sub-sector to boost national security.